Artist bio

September 23 - October 22, 2017

Opening reception: Saturday, September 23, 6-8pm
* On the first day only, there will be a special viewing at the Komagome Soko next door. (noon-8pm)

Publication: Artist book "looking at something"
© 2017 Yu Nishimura & KAYOKOYUKI
148 x 183 mm, 32 Pages


YU NISHIMURA motion 2017, oil on canvas, 65.2 x 45.5cm

What is she staring at? Where is she, and what kind of emotion is she experiencing? Looking at a portrait by Yu Nishimura, the viewer cannot help but start imagining things that are not clearly indicated in the work. By overlaying translucent tones and faint outlines on his canvas, Nishimura creates a surface that has both ambivalence and explicit pureness, prompting active interpretation from the viewer.

KAYOKOYUKI is proudly presenting painter Yu Nishimura’s second solo exhibition with the gallery, with the first having taken place around a year ago. The word “portrait,” used as the show’s title, is not meant to merely refer to human portraiture like one of his paintings on view, head of a girl (2017, oil on canvas, 80.5×65.5cm). Rather, it refers to a quality in various painted situations such as a person walking alone in a forest, animals doing different things like birds twittering in treetops and a dog laying down on lawn, a car speeding away, and even landscape elements surrounding them such as a bush, a grassland, a seashore, and a paved road. “When I painted a close-up image of a face on a canvas bigger than the sizes I usually use, I realized that my mode for painting the eyes and hairs on it was no different from how I usually paint other things such as car tires and a thick bunch of grasses and trees.” This remark, said by the artist on the above-mentioned painting, well represents his attitude; whatever the motif is, Nishimura always tries to capture a portraiture quality emerging from the imagery in development; that is his means to give it a life as a painting.

One of the characteristics of his paintings is that they are constructed with overlaid layers of painterly elements, such as contours of a figure and planes of color, all overlapped with slight misalignment. The image thus becomes fluid and presents afterimage-like effect. This aesthetics results from Nishimura’s way of working, where he, in constant dialogue with the canvas, operates his brush as a response to how the canvas has evolved; this process itself is crystallized into a form of painting. According to the painter, in development of his pieces, what is important is to find and pick up “the center of the painting.” Here, “the center of the painting,” which he perceives, is the center not only visually but also ideationally. This center is subject to constant change, and it is by depicting its surroundings that Nishimura weaves a “portrait.” When the center of the painting, gradually located somewhere on the canvas, is resonant with the center of the world as defined by the painter’s perspective, a rich painterly space arises — a space that is not eloquent verbally but exudes quite a sensuous presence.

Yu Nishimura was born in 1982 in Kanagawa, Japan. Recently, Nishimura won the Koji Kinutani Prize 2017, and he presented his work in "Natsu no Tobira, Organized by Misako and Jeffrey Rosen" at SHANE CAMPBELL GALLERY, Chicago, US, 2017, "FACE 2016: FACE Award Winners -The Way of Paintings 2016" at Seiji Togo Memorial Sompo Japan Museum of Art, Tokyo, 2016, "Contemporary tales from the province -Susaki artist in residence" at Susaki Machikado Gallery, Kochi, 2016, "Imprisoned, Jailbreak, Imprisoned, Jailbreak -crated by Kazuyuki Takezaki" at KAYOKOYUKI and Komagome SOKO, Tokyo, 2016, ”project N 61" at Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, Tokyo, 2015, ”Art Kurabiraki Fujiyoshida 2014” at Ono Satoshi Open Studio, Yamanashi, 2014, "Shell Art Award 2013 -Kenjiro Hosaka’s prize“ at The National Art Center, Tokyo, 2013, “Haluhi Painting Triennale: Artist Series Vol.65 Yu Nishimura” at Kiyosu City Haluhi Art Museum, Aichi, 2010. Lives and works in Kanagawa.